Cockfighting is legal in Puerto Rico with over one million people attend the fights, generate over one hundred million dollars in bets, admission tickets, food consumption and other expenses. Some well known galleras such as La Muda in San Juan, the Club Gallístico de Puerto Rico in Carolina, La Gallera De Cerro Gordo in Bayamón, and the Gallera Los Cocos in Quebradillas is where the cock fights take place.
Cock fighting is a popular sport in Puerto Rico, although it has been banned in many other countries. People said that cock fighting has been introduced to the country under the time of Spanish rule and remains popular til today. This is a controversial tradition.
Breeders of the fighting birds raise and train the roosters, by supplying them with vitamins, all the best food, and sparring, in order to develop the best fighters. The gamecocks wear plastic spurs attached each other in a pit using the back of their claws in order to injure the other bird. During the fight, spectators place bets and the fight ends only when one bird can’t continue fighting, retreats, or dies. A tie is announced if both roosters can’t keep fighting after 15 minutes. Afterwards the surviving bird(s) are taken care of by feeding the bird with medication.
While many people love cockfighting and the Puerto Rican government declared the sport as an integral part of the island’s folklore and patrimony in 2010, there are many people who oppose it, especially animal rights activists who don’t accept the cock fighting as a sport but it animal abuse.
Though undoubtedly controversial, cockfighting has become the island’s culture that many artesanos, craftsmen and women, who create pieces inspired by or depicting elements of cockfighting.
Do you have this sport in your country? Share with us if you do.